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Scotland Provides Fine Examples of Delectable Recipes for Brunch

March 03, 1988|ANNE WILLAN | Willan is president and founder of La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris. She lives in Washington. and

The best meal in Scotland is undoubtedly breakfast. Such a feast sets the perfect example for an enticing brunch.

SCOTTISH BRUNCH FOR 12 Finnan Haddie Ramekins Lamburgers With Whiskey Sauce Kailkenny Sour Scones Marmalade Mousse Suggested drinks: Scotch malt whiskey, spring water, Indian or Ceylon tea. FINNAN HADDIE


1 pound finnan haddie (smoked haddock)


1 onion, chopped


6 hard-cooked eggs, sliced

1 1/2 pounds fresh haddock

2 onion slices

1 bay leaf

12 black peppercorns

6 tablespoons flour

Salt, pepper

Grated nutmeg

1/2 cup grated dry Cheddar cheese

12 slices toast

Place finnan haddie in saucepan with 2 cups milk. Set aside 20 to 30 minutes. Saute chopped onion in 1/4 cup butter until tender. Divide mixture evenly among 12 ramekins. Distribute sliced eggs evenly among ramekins, placing over top onion mixture.

Butter large sheet of foil and place fresh haddock on top. Fold over edges of foil and pleat ends to seal. Set on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until fish flakes easily, 8 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, cover finnan haddie with lid and simmer until fish flakes easily, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and flake both fish, discarding any skin and bones. (Milk from poaching is too salty to use for sauce.) Divide both fish evenly among ramekins, placing over top of eggs.

Bring 1 quart milk to boil with onion slices, bay leaf and peppercorns in large saucepan. Cover, remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes to infuse. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in heavy saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook until foaming. Remove pan from heat and while whisking constantly, gradually add milk, pouring through strainer.

Return pan to heat and continue whisking until sauce comes to boil and thickens. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Simmer 2 minutes.

Divide sauce evenly among ramekins, spooning over fish. Sprinkle each ramekin with cheese. Ramekins may be prepared 2 days ahead and kept covered in refrigerator.

To finish, bake ramekins at 350 degrees until bubbling hot and brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately with toast. Makes 12 servings.

Note: If substituting smoked trout or mackerel for finnan haddie, both need no cooking before being flaked. If using fresh salmon, bake in oven with fresh haddock.


3 pounds lean ground lamb

Salt, pepper

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup stock

1 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons Scotch whiskey, about

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Shape lamb into 12 equal-size patties about 1 inch thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat butter in large heavy skillet. Fry lamburgers over medium heat, allowing 3 to 4 minutes on each side for pink burgers, more for lamb well done. Transfer burgers to serving dish. Keep warm.

Discard fat from pan. Add stock. Bring to boil, stirring to dissolve pan juices. Boil until reduced by half. Add cream and boil until sauce is thick enough to lightly coat spoon. Stir in 2 tablespoons whiskey, or to taste. Pour sauce over burgers and sprinkle with chives. Makes 12 servings.

Note: Venison or beef work equally well.


4 pounds potatoes, peeled


2 pounds kale, stems removed and shredded

6 tablespoons butter

4 medium leeks, sliced with some of green top

1 cup milk, about


2 tablespoons melted butter

Cut potatoes in 2 to 3 pieces. Place in large pan of cold salted water. Cover and bring to boil. Simmer until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Bring large pan of salted water to boil. Add kale. Boil just until tender, 8 to 12 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water. Drain thoroughly.

Meanwhile melt 3 tablespoons butter in skillet. Saute leeks over low heat until tender, but not brown. Remove from heat. Stir in kale.

When potatoes are cooked, drain and return to pan. Mash with potato masher and beat in remaining 3 tablespoons butter with 1 cup milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return pan to heat and beat potatoes with wooden spoon until very hot and fluffy, adding more milk if necessary so puree just falls easily from spoon.

Add kale and heat mixture until very hot. Kailkenny may be served at once, or it may be spread in buttered baking dish and refrigerated up to 2 days.

To reheat, sprinkle Kailkenny with melted butter and bake at 350 degrees until very hot and browned, 30 to 40 minutes. Makes 12 servings.

Note: Any leafy green such as Swiss chard or cabbage may be used instead of kale.


3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons caraway seeds

1/3 cup butter

1 1/4 cups buttermilk, about

Lightly flour baking sheet. Sift flour with salt, baking soda and sugar into mixing bowl. Mix in caraway seeds, then rub in butter with fingertips until mixture resembles crumbs. Add buttermilk and stir with wooden spoon, mixing as quickly and lightly as possible. Dough should be quite soft, add more buttermilk if necessary. Do not overmix. Dough should remain quite rough.

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